The Thames Path: Hampton Court to Putney

From Hampton Court Palace follow the flow of the Thames via Kingston and Teddington Lock. Head through Richmond Park and Barnes Common to link back up with the Thames in Putney. This route forms part of National Route 4 of the National Cycle Network.

Enjoy some of the highlights of South West London on this 12-mile route.

See Tudor splendour at Henry VIII’s palace, the wild and expansive Richmond park and a beautiful part of the River Thames.

For a relaxed family cycle ride, or if you use a wheelchair, handcycle or pushchair, we recommend the Thames Path between Hampton Court and Kingston, Richmond Park and Putney Embankment.


Information on this page


Places to see and explore

  • Hampton Court Palace (paid entry)
  • Bushy Park, a Royal Park which includes four miles of flat traffic-free paths for you to explore
  • Kingston, an ancient parish where Saxon kings were crowned. Look for the coronation stone outside the Guildhall and find out more at Kingston Museum
  • Teddington Lock, the limit of the tidal Thames
  • Royal history, incredible trees and roaming deer in Richmond Park
  • Barnes Common, a local nature reserve which includes a shrine to Marc Bolan
  • Wildlife and Wetlands Trust London Wetland Centre (paid entry)
  • Water activities and wildlife spotting along the River Thames
  • Putney Embankment and towpath


Local amenities

  • Hampton Court local shops and services
  • Kingston local shops and services
  • Canbury Secret Café and The Boaters Inn Pub in Canbury Gardens
  • The New Inn on Ham Common
  • At Richmond Park, toilets at Peg’s Pond Gate, Pen Pond’s café kiosk, Colicci café and toilets at Roehampton Gate
  • Barnes local shops and services
  • Café at WWT London Wetland Centre (paid entry)
  • Putney local shops and services.



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Public transport    

By train: Hampton Court, Kingston, Barnes, Barnes Bridge and Putney 

By tube: East Putney (District line) 

By river: Putney.  Seasonal boat services at Kingston and Hampton Court. 

Find out more about using public transport to get to the National Cycle Network on our Get started on London’s National Cycle Network page.  

a family with young children ride their bicycles through a park on a sunny day

Local loops 

We recommend these local circular routes for family friendly, traffic free and accessible adventures. 

  • The 7 mile Tamsin Trail in Richmond Park is an undulating off road trail around the perimeter of Richmond Park.  For a shorter circuit combine with Route 4 to cross the middle of the park.  On steeper slopes between Kingston Gate and Roehampton Gate those wheeling themselves may need assistance.  The trail surface is hard packed gravel. 
  • The 10 mile Bushy Park & Hampton Court Explorers Trail is a flat off road route on tarmac and hard packed gravel paths.  It can be split into two shorter loops.   


Continue on the National Cycle Network 

Want to explore more of the National Cycle Network from this route? 

Follow these directions to find other National Cycle Network routes near here: 

From Putney cross Putney Bridge to continue along the Thames Path east to Tower Bridge and Greenwich on Route 4.  

From Hampton Court continue west on the Thames Path to Staines on Route 4, and beyond that to Bath, Bristol and Fishguard on Route 4. 

From Putney, follow the Thames eastwards through Wandsworth Park to connect with the Wandle trail from Wandsworth to Carshalton and Farthing Downs on Route 20 


Continue walking  

Want to explore more of London’s walking network from this route?    

Find out which other routes you can join from Route 4:  

  • At Hampton Court, continue upstream on the Thames Path National Trail. 
  • Join the London Loop southbound or westbound at Kingston. 
  • At Kingston, start the Hogsmill River Trail and the Thames Downs Link southbound.  
  • Continue on the Thames Path National Trail at Teddington and Putney (north bank and south bank route). 
  • Join the Capital Ring eastbound or westbound at Richmond Park. 
  • At Roehampton Gate in Richmond Park, join the Beverley Brook Walk northbound or southbound. 

Find more useful information about walking in London on our Get started on London’s National Cycle Network page.  

Two mums with pushchairs and a little girl on a scooter walking away from the camera along a traffic-free route surrounded by trees.

Accessibility information 

Richmond Park closures 

Richmond Park is closed to vehicles at night, pedestrian gates remain open except during the annual deer cull.  Check the Royal Parks website for opening times.  


There are two chicane barriers at Hardwicke Road and Broughton Avenue in Ham. 

At Richmond Park, if the gates at Ham Gate and Roehampton Gate are too narrow, the vehicle gates may be used when open. 


Between Hampton Court and Kingston, the path is hard packed gravel and sand. 

Between Canbury Gardens and Teddington Lock, the path is narrow with uneven tarmac in some places. 

In Richmond Park, the steep off-road path next to Ham Gate Avenue is gravel. 

In Barnes, Rocks Lane and the Putney Towpath are loose gravel. 

Steeps and steps 

In Richmond Park, there is a short steep hill east of Ham Gate. 

Take care 

This route has these busier on road sections. 

In Ham, this route uses busy local road Ham Common for 300m. 

In Barnes, take care on Vine Road and Station Road which can be busy.

Please help us protect this route

The Thames Path: Hampton Court to Putney route is part of the National Cycle Network, cared for by Sustrans. Your donation today will help keep the Network safe and open for everyone to enjoy. 

Please note

We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness.

However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes.

Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces.

Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.

To make sure everyone gets the most out of their time by the water, please ensure you follow the Towpath Code.

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